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Council recommends hearing on zoning

March 31, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The Hagerstown City Council will try to get more public input on a zoning proposal that would allow the construction of a convenience store and a fast-food restaurant near City Park.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said during Tuesday's council meeting that the city should try to get feedback from homeowners, whose property values likely would decrease if such businesses were built in their neighborhood.

Metzner was referring in particular to property near City Park at the intersection of Virginia Avenue and Howard Street.

Metzner said he believed that property owners would oppose the construction near their homes of high-intensity businesses like the ones on Dual Highway.

He suggested that the City Planning Department schedule a public hearing and invite homeowners who live in areas that would be affected.

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In February, the council hosted a public hearing in which commercial property owners were invited to speak about various zoning proposals. The commercial property owners lobbied to get zoning that would allow them to get the most use of their buildings to prevent their property values from plummeting.

"If we went to the neighborhoods, we would have gotten another result," Metzner said Tuesday.

Councilwoman Alesia D. Parson-McBean said she didn't think a Sheetz or a McDonald's would be built near the intersection of Virginia Avenue and Howard Street.

Councilman Martin E. Brubaker said it would be better for the city to be safe than sorry.

"Why would we take that risk?" he said.

The council agreed to further discuss the issue at a later date.

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